Earlier this week, my flute teacher gave me a little shopping list for music, and be still, my heart… Mozart K. 314, the second flute concerto in D major, has been on my flute bucket list since the very early days of flute-mania. Its final movement never fails to cheer me up. It’s likely you heard the tune somewhere before, it’s very “hummable” and it’s hard to believe this piece was originally composed for oboe because it sounds so good on flute.
If you think it’s just me who feels it’s a joyful piece, check out the full concert with Emmanuel Pahud playing this in 2001 in Istanbul (starting at 25′), who simply dances his way through the whole thing with the Berlin Phil conducted by Mariss Jansons, making it all airy and light and happy.
The flute is a cruel mistress (it’s a feminine word in the languages I can think of that do gendered nouns). To be more precise: she’s a harsh but fair one. She holds up a mirror and gives instant feedback on how much effort you have put in, and how focused you are. For me: three consecutive days of not playing, and the high notes in the third register become elusive; thinking of anything but the piece in front of me, and my fingers stumble in the search for notes as I try to speed up some passages. Continue reading →
Whaaaat? and all I have to show for is 62 posts? That’s about 1 per month on average. Happy blogiversary! (No, not an April Fool! Although the first published post took a couple of months to appear.)
Wablief? En er zijn maar 62 berichtjes in totaal? Dat is net iets meer dan eentje per maand. Dat kan beter! Gelukkig blog-verjaardag (Nee, geen aprilvis! Maar het duurde dan nog enkele maanden voor het eerste bericht verscheen.)
This dragon is as surprised as you that it’s been five years! Courtesy of Met Museum
Of course the blog goes dormant intermittently, when work takes over. But in retrospect, most of the “lack of time” is self-created, courtesy of the (inevitable?) curse of our times: FaceBook. Continue reading →
The Green Wall of Standard Histories, and other primary sources
It’s that time of year again. Or rather, I am slightly behind the times: it has been that time of the past year again, when people make lists of everything related to 2016.
Continuing my habit from 2015, I tracked all the books I read cover-to-cover and finished during 2016 (some were started much earlier). I am happy to report that the total number has gone up! There are twelve books that can be classified as fiction, and some real classics in my list. Continue reading →
Voor Nederlands, gelieve verder naar beneden te rollen!
It’s been quiet on the blog, I know. This final semester at Princeton has been extremely demanding in different ways. Jobhunting and teaching are the most obvious ones, but there was also some travel (for fun and for work) and then the simple need every now and then to hide under a rock and listen to lots of good music to keep me human. Continue reading →